Highway 1 Discovery Route

SLO CAL's stretch of Highway 1: Open, untamed, and ready to explore.

Imagine the road trip of your life, gliding past uncrowded beaches and wine grapes ripening in the sun. California dreaming? Think again.

Highway 1 is the most iconic roadway in California, but not all sections are created equal. The length that passes along the coast through San Luis Obispo County (known as SLO CAL) brims with the best of the Highway 1 experience. And as the gateway to Big Sur, this SLO CAL stretch is well within reach.

What sets us apart? One-hundred miles of Pacific coastline, half of which are protected. A national marine sanctuary and a national estuary. Thirteen state parks. An elephant seal rookery and Monarch butterfly preserves. A Scenic Byway designation from the U.S. Department of Transportation. Two historic lighthouses and five historic piers. The only drivable beach in California. Centuries-old forests. Hundreds of acres of coastal vineyards. Uncrowded white sand beaches. History and heritage at every turn with nine locales on the National Register. And Hearst Castle, a hilltop beauty that is a State and National Historic Landmark.

And that’s just the beginning.

Bury your toes in the sand and get to know the locals. Indulge in farm-fresh and ocean-fresh cuisine, and wines from family-owned vineyards. Glimpse abundant wildlife and historic wonders, all in the comfort of a laid-back culture and picture-perfect climate.

Want to plan the road trip of a lifetime? Follow your curiosity to our SLO CAL stretch of Highway 1, and let the wonder begin.

Roadtrip of a Lifetime

Design your itinerary for spontaneous pull-overs, spectacular sunsets and lots of family fun.

What sets this stretch of Highway 1 apart?

  • 57 miles of historic highway, just begging to be explored
  • 100 miles of Pacific coastline, complete with miles of hiking and biking trails
  • 50 miles of protected coastline ― the most in all of California
  • A “scenic byway” designation by the U.S. Department of Transportation
  • A National Marine Sanctuary
  • A National Estuary, which is home to over 300 species of birds
  • 13 State Parks featuring untouched beaches; breathtaking scenery; rare close-ups of wildlife; centuries-old trees; a castle; and drivable dunes
  • An elephant seal rookery – one of the few left in California
  • A Monarch butterfly preserve, a destination of over 25,000 migrating butterflies annually
  • Five piers – all walkable and fish-able ― one is even drivable
  • Two historic lighthouses offering docent-led walks, kayak tours, and history
  • Hearst Castle, a National and California Historical Landmark
  • Miles of spacious white sand beaches
  • 10 Whale Trail locations ― the most of any county in California
  • A coastal wine region, home to boutique, award-winning wine producers
  • The only drivable beach in California, the Oceano Dunes State Vehicular Area
  • Nine historic places on the National Register, ready to satisfy your curiosity


Get to know our beach towns and vineyard-framed villages.

Upcoming Events

Your next adventure awaits

NOTICE: In light of rapid developments related to COVID-19, please contact individual event organizers to confirm the current status of a particular event.

  • May
    Avila Beach
    The Point San Luis Light Station, a Central Coast hidden gem, is providing visitors with an exciting opportunity to take a docent-led virtual tour. 
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  • May
    San Luis Obispo
    The show includes jewelry, glass, paintings, wood, ceramics, textiles, and MORE!
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  • May
    Mid-State Fair Outdoor Markets
    March 19 to June 18, 2021
    From: 11:00 AM to 6:00 PM
    Paso Robles
    The Paso Robles Event Center is pleased to announce the Mid-State Fair Market, a monthly one-day shopping experience to find antiques, new and used items, plus handmade items from local artisans and crafters.
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  • May
    Spring Barefoot Concerts on the Green
    May 15 to June 26, 2021
    From: 2:00 PM to 6:00 PM
    Los Osos
    Join us for live music, barefoot dancing on the putting green, connecting with friends and family
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  • May
    Point San Luis Lighthouse Tours
    May 01 to June 30, 2021
    Avila Beach
    The Point San Luis Lighthouse will re-open for in-person tours beginning on Saturday, May 1st. Tours will happen every Saturday in May at 12pm and 1pm. Beginning in June, both Wednesday and Saturday tours will be available. Founded in 1890, Point San Luis Lighthouse has saved many lives in its time, and remains a beacon over San […]
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  • May
    Brunch in the Garden
    April 04 to August 29, 2021
    From: 11:00 AM to 2:00 PM
    Our gourmet buffet includes a chefs carving station, an omelette station, seafood, fresh home-baked pastries and desserts, assorted crudités, homemade breakfast frittatas and quiches, home-style potatoes, and more!
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  • May
    Morro Bay
    Our Mind Walks series offers lectures on topics of interest to residents of the Central Coast, including cultural history, natural history, and current issues. 
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  • May
    Avila Beach
    The Avila Beach Golf Resort presents the Annual Avila Beach Tequila Festival, featuring live music by Ozomatli and La Marcha.
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  • May
    Avila Beach
    This year continues the tradition of the biggest and longest running blues festival on the Central Coast, with top name entertainment against the backdrop of the Pacific Ocean. 
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  • Jun
    Live Oak Virtual Music Festival
    June 18 to June 20, 2021
    San Luis Obispo
    KCBX will again transform Live Oak into a virtual festival, Live Oak on the Radio.
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  • Jun
    Tribute to Johnny Cash and Elvis Presley
    June 19, 2021
    From: 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM
    Arroyo Grande
    The Only Cash Tribute Band honors the music and the legend of Johnny Cash. Starring Danny Millsap as Johnny Cash and his band, the Hennessee Three.
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  • Jul
    Avila Beach
    The story of Slightly Stoopid, at its core, is one of brotherhood.
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Plan Your Trip

Ready to design a vacation to remember? We can’t wait to see you here.

NOTICE: In light of rapid developments related to COVID-19, please contact individual establishments to determine their current status.

Where To Stay

Find Your Haven

This wonder-filled stretch of Highway 1 offers a wide variety of lodging options to ensure that your stay is an enjoyable one. Choose from oceanfront property, vineyard views, family-friendly suites and private retreats. Whether you’re looking for a historic inn, vacation rental or budget hotel, the Highway 1 Discovery Route promises to provide a comfortable hideaway.

Where To Eat

Bring An Appetite

Dining on this stretch reveals our embarrassment of riches, from farm to sea. Taste seafood straight from the waves, produce dewey from the morning’s harvest, and bread still warm from the oven. From tacos in Oceano to oysters in Cambria, barbecue in Nipomo to apple pie in Avila Beach, we’ve got great taste. What’s more? We’re more than happy to share. So pull up a chair, fill your glass, and settle in for what’s sure to be a delicious stay.


Be Amazed

Let our stretch of Highway 1 astound you. Start the day off-roading on the dunes and finish with a glass of wine and vineyard view. Build sandcastles one hour and witness the decadence of a real-life castle the next. Watch whales dance offshore, then dance like a local at a street festival. The rewards are great in our neck of the woods, and they’re all yours for the taking.